One state left without marriage ban lawsuit after South Dakota challenge

Mount RushmoreSouth Dakota was one of only two states with marriage bans that had not been sued. That changed last week when six couples filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court on Thursday, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

The suit challenges the state’s 1996 marriage law and 2006 constitutional amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples as well as the state’s right not to recognize out-of-state marriages. Five of the six couples were married in marriage-equality states. The sixth couple would like to marry in South Dakota.

On Wednesday, a suit challenged Montana’s marriage laws. North Dakota is now the only remaining state whose marriage ban is not facing judicial review. A suit in that state may be filed as early as this week.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision striking down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act last June, marriage equality has won in every suit that has come before a court.

—  David Taffet

Montana Attorney General Requests Dismissal of Gay Rights Lawsuit

Montana Back in July I posted about a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and seven same-sex couples in Montana, seeking the same rights as heterosexual married couples in the state. 

The state's attorney general today filed a motion for dismissal:

"Spousal benefits are limited by definition to married couples, and the Montana constitution defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, Attorney General Steve Bullock said. The court does not have the jurisdiction to require the state to extend spousal benefits beyond that definition, Bullock said in a motion to dismiss the case. "Courts may not exercise the power to enact laws and revise, alter or amend the constitution," Bullock said. Such policymaking power belongs to the Legislature and the people of the state, he added. District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock has set a Jan. 25 hearing on Bullock's motion to dismiss the case."


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—  admin

Why The Montana GOP Still Calls For Sexually Active Gays To Be Imprisoned

The reason the Montana Republican Party still states in its official platform, under the "Crime" section, that members "support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal"? Because it's a holdover from 1997, when the Montana Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws and the GOP reacted quickly to register its displeasure, and then found itself annually re-committing to excluding gay voters. Removing the language has never come up for discussion, says Montana GOP executive director Bowen Greenwood (seen here in a photo that does not depict him cruising in a public park), who ran for a seat in the State House and lost. So it's remained as is.


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—  John Wright

Butte hole: Montana GOP needs, doesn’t care to find patch

MT-GOPThe AP is reminding all Americans of a truly startling reality about the Montana state Republican Party: That they still have a call to criminalize homosexuality in the “crime” section of the official party platform:

Montana GOP policy: Make homosexuality illegal [AP via Yahoo]

While the AP does quote some like state Sen. John Brueggeman (R-Polson) who wish to see the mean-spirited, legally-insignificant wording removed, the seemingly more significant sentiment comes from state GOP executive director Bowen Greenwood, who says that the matter has never even come up for discussion. Never even come up. Not once. In over twelve years. Just slipped the mind.

The obvious response: THEN. BRING. IT. UP, EXECUTIVE. DIRECTOR! The state party literally calls for gays’ hands to be bound and thrown into a cop car — nobody’s binding your own lips and hands from putting a word and deed to a remedy!




Good As You

—  John Wright

Montana Tea Party Chief Tim Ravndal Didn’t Know He Was Joking About Hanging Fags

Tim Ravndal, the ousted head of Montana's Big Sky Tea Party Association, wants his job back! It was totally not fair that he was booted for LOLing all over Facebook about stringing up the homos.

CONTINUED »


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—  John Wright

Montana House GOP Candidate Declares ‘War’ on the Gay Community Over Tea Party Leader’s Removal

Kristi

Kristi Allen-Gailusha, a GOP nominee for a Montana House seat and secretary of the Big Sky Tea Party Association, has left the latter group, angry that its president, Tim Ravndal, was forced out following revelations that he posted remarks condoning violence against gay people to his Facebook page.

Allen-gailushas Ravndal, in a Facebook posting dated July 23 and since removed, expressed his views that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The post was in response to an ACLU lawsuit in Montana brought by seven gay couples who want to get married.

In the post's comment thread, Ravndal expressed support for a commenter who (in apparent reference to the Matthew Shepard murder) said, "I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions."

In response to the Ravndal controversy, Allen-Gailusha posted a comment to her Facebook page declaring "war" on the gay community (see screenshot above).

The Helena Independent Record reports:

"Allen-Gailusha said Ravndal wasn't even referring to the Shepard case, and that his comments were taken out of context. She said she would submit her resignation from the association at Tuesday night's meeting. She may have also been heading for trouble with the group’s board, following the revelation of one of her own Facebook postings that takes aim at gay people."

Allen-Gailusha is the Republican nominee in House District 82.

(top image via montana cowgirl blog)


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—  John Wright

Montana Tea Party president jokes about murdering gays and Matthew Shepard

In what is literally a stomach turning post, Andy Towle highlights the President of Montana’s Big Sky Tea Party Association’s Facebook comments in support of “traditional” marriage. The comments on his original post turned to jokes about murdering gay people, using the murder of Matthew Shepard as a joke.

Tim Ravndal expressed support for a commenter who (in apparent reference to the Matthew Shepard murder) said, “I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.”

Answered Ravndal: “Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?”

The original commenter then responds, “Should be able to get info Gazette archives. Maybe even an illustration. Go back a bit over ten years.”

This is bigotry and hatred, plain and simple. As long as laws don’t treat us as equals, ignorant and hate-filled homophobes can continue to broadcast filth like this, feeling validated by our government that we are somehow worth less.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Montana Tea Party President Condones Violence Against Gays in Facebook Post Supporting Traditional Marriage

Ravndal

This seems to have been posted in late July, but several people have brought it to my attention today. Tim Ravndal, the President of Montana's Big Sky Tea Party Association, expressed his views that marriage should be between a man and a woman in a Facebook posting. The post was in response to an ACLU lawsuit in Montana brought by seven gay couples who want to get married.

Then Ravndal expressed support for a commenter who (in apparent reference to the Matthew Shepard murder) said, "I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions."

Answered Ravndal: "Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?"

In related news, the Montana GOP Platform calls for making homosexual acts illegal.


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—  John Wright